Monday, July 29, 2013

Regency 101---What's For Breakfast?

Breakfast in Regency London
Breakfast. It seems like such a simple thing. Of course, I knew they probably didn't have Pop Tarts or Frozen Waffles (poor them!) during the Regency Era, but I still wasn't exactly sure what they did have. Or when.
Here's what I found out. Because of the time it took to get a fire going in the mornings and prepare food, breakfast usually didn't take place until 10 or 11 am. Closer to 10 in the country and closer to 11 for the fancy city folks. In the time before breakfast, Ladies and Gentlemen would write letters, practice the piano  (ladies) or take a stroll. Of course, getting dressed and coiffed took some time as well. It's not like they threw on a pair of shorts, a T-shirt and some flip flops then shoved their hair into a ponytail.
Breakfast was generally a fairly large meal consisting of toast, rolls, butter, jam and an assortment of meats (possibly yesterday's leftovers served cold).
In Lady Katherine's Comeuppance, I played it safe and only mentioned toast. But, as you can see from this excerpt, even an innocent piece of toast can lead to naughty thoughts.

When she entered the breakfast room, Thomas stood and held out her chair for her.

She steeled herself against him. “Thank you,” she said on gritted teeth. 

“It is my pleasure to assist you with your seat.”

She could swear his tone mocked her as much as the mischievous glint in his eye did.  He would not be favored with a reply.  She refused to look at him and continued with her breakfast, covering her toast with butter and taking a bite while scrupulously pretending he did not exist. 

“Spread more.”  His words had her choking on her breakfast. Had he not said the same thing to her just hours ago, as she sat before the mirror in his bed chamber, her sex glistening back at her from the mirror?

 Surely he would not refer to such a thing in broad daylight, and in front of the help, no less.

 If the help were not already curious about relations between Lady Katherine and the new earl, they certainly would be if she continued to act as though his seemingly innocent, though obviously intended to provoke, statements held any meaning beyond the obvious. 

“My lord?” She looked at him indolently over her tea, once she had her coughing subdued. 

“The butter. You will want to spread it further. Get wide coverage. Leave nothing untouched.” 

“Of course,” she said, fighting to maintain her composure, though she could not help but squirm in her seat as additional memories plagued her mind. His fingers joining hers in exploring her sex. His mouth…she could not think of what he had done with his mouth upon her…no she would not entertain a single thought about the feel of his mouth sucking on her most intimate places, pulling the hardened nub of her sex into his mouth to lave it with his tongue until she cried out with helpless surrender. She most assuredly would not remember how she had moaned and buried her hands deep into the thickness of his hair while his mouth plundered her core. 


  1. It's funny that you mention breakfast, because I just finished watching Gosford Park and there was a breakfast scene. The American film producer expected to be served at the table and he was told that in England, people helped themselves to breakfast from the sideboard. That was later than Regency, though. Probably in the 1920s.

    I know there was a huge assortment of food, including things like grilled kidneys, bacon, sausages, kippers, eggs and many more things. I started wondering what happened to all the leftovers. Would the servants eat breakfast leftovers for their lunch?


    1. An excellent question Hermione---go to the head of the class!

      Yes, the servants didn't eat until after the rest of the household had breakfast, even though they had been up for hours preparing the food, cleaning the house and emptying the chamber pots (ick!), they probably didn't have breakfast until about noon.

      They really didn't have lunch in Regency times. They had breakfast and then dinner was served around 5 pm. The notion of afternoon tea came into being later, though if there were callers (morning calls were actually made in the afternoon) often tea and cakes would be served.

      If there was a ball, supper was served late in the evening, in part because the guests usually had a long ride home afterward.

      How's that for a Monday Morning Geek A Thon? Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Love the double entendre in your snippet. Goes so well with Regency too. I did not realize that breakfast was served so late in Regency times. I appreciate the extent you're going through for accuracy and have enjoyed the lessons. I'm hoping to get at least a minor from Regency U! LOL.

    1. LOL. Thanks, Cara. I'm still taking the "just don't do anything wrong" approach by only mentioning toast, but it is fun info and I'm glad you're enjoying it.

      Maybe there will be a quiz. Ha!

  3. It doesn't help that I was eating toast when I read this, LOL. I'm enjoying your Regency 101 lessons, Celeste. Can't wait for the book to release!

  4. Oh, I like Thomas! Great snippet. And I am loving all the Regency-geek talk.

    1. Thanks, Casey! I may have the geekiest spanking blog. LOL

  5. Whew...what a scene! I love that you did the research and can share!

    1. I'm barely scratching the surface of all there is to know. Fortunately, spanking hasn't changed a whole lot in 200 years. :)

  6. They didn't have electric toasters in those days, either, so for the well-to-do servants' prepared toast by holding bread slices in toasting tongs over an open fire then placing the crisp slices in a silver toast rack for the gentry's use.

    There's a fun little scene in Kate and Leopold (Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman), when Leopold, a Victorian gentleman who time travels forward in time to the 20th century, discovers an electric toaster that offers burnt cremains as offerings. Disgusted that they haven't improved toast making since his day and time, he jerry-rigs the appliance so it serves up properly prepared toast each time.

    I think we've got that toaster now.

    1. That's an excellent point. Being the official toaster would not be a fun job.

      I haven't seen that movie, but it seems to make an excellent point about the quality of toast. LOL

      Thanks for stopping by.


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